Gulf stock markets retreat in early trade

Stock markets in the Gulf followed international bourses lower early Wednesday after oil prices dropped again overnight and concern about lacklustre global growth weighed on investors.

Riyadh’s index shed 0.2 percent in the first 45 minutes of trade in modest volume. Shares in the retail and petrochemical sectors were the main laggards.

Jarir Marketing and Fawaz Alhokair, two of the largest retailers in the kingdom, dropped 1.3 and 0.8 percent respectively. But low-cost supermarket chain Alothaim , which could attract more customers during an economic slowdown, rose 1.8 percent.

Dubai’s stock market fell 1.5 percent, extending the previous session’s losses. Most Dubai companies have now reported first-quarter earnings, many of which were in line with or fell below expectations. Emaar Properties, which early this week reported net profits in line with expectations, retreated a further 2.7 percent.

But Dubai Parks and Resorts added 1.6 percent as rights to a share issue began trading on Wednesday. The trading period for the rights, worth 1.68 billion dirhams, will end on May 18.

In Abu Dhabi, the index was weighed down by energy- related shares. Dana Gas and Abu Dhabi National Energy dropped 1.9 and 5.0 percent. The main index slipped 0.1 percent.

But some blue chips gained; Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank and Etisalat each edged up 0.3 percent.

Source: Reuters